Apply for site plan approval

The site plan approval process (including fees) are changing for all new pre-consultation and site plan submissions received after December 31, 2022.  Please contact [email protected] or 519-822-1260 extension 5616 prior to making a submission.  Please be advised, SPRC Pre-Consultation Summary Comments are valid for one (1) year from the date of the SPRC meeting.  If a complete pre-review or site plan submission is not received within this timeframe, a new site plan pre-consultation submission is required.

Initial meeting

If this is your first time applying for site plan approval in Guelph, please schedule an initial meeting with the City’s site plan coordinator to discuss conceptual plans, a proposed project, the site plan process and any additional planning approvals you may need. To set up a meeting please submit:
An initial meeting request form
[email protected]

Pre-consultation submission and meeting

This is the first required step in the site plan application process.You (the property owner/agent) will meet with City staff to identify technical issues and discuss the application(s), drawings, studies and any other information that should be included in your site plan application. Your pre-consultation submission must be submitted digitally and include the following:

To avoid delays, please ensure your submission is complete. The City will not accept the application if it is missing information or is not submitted digitally.

Please send your submission to:

[email protected]
Site Plan Coordinator, Planning Services
City of Guelph
1 Carden Street, third floor
Guelph, ON N1H 3A1

Site Plan Review Committee

Your pre-consultation submission will be reviewed by Guelph’s Site Plan Review Committee  which includes City employees with expertise in:

  • Accessibility
  • Building
  • Economic development
  • Engineering
  • Landscape planning
  • Park planning
  • Planning and zoning
  • Environmental planning
  • Heritage planning
  • Source water protection
  • Signs
  • Traffic engineering
  • Urban design

Please submit your pre-consultation application at least two weeks in advance of your desired meeting date. We will review your pre-consultation application and send you some initial feedback. We will confirm the date and time at least one week before the meeting.

During the meeting

You are invited to discuss the application and ask any questions you may have. The discussion typically takes about 45 minutes.

Committee members comment on the proposed site plan and identify potential issues or areas of concern.

We will confirm whether your application will proceed through the standard or the minor site plan approval process.

We will also let you know if you require permissions from other agencies like the Grand River Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Transportation

After the meeting

After the meeting, you will receive a summary of comments describing the outcome of the meeting, and the steps you need to take to proceed with a formal site plan application.

After the pre-consultation meeting, please begin any required Environmental Impact Studies or Environmental Implementation Reports required. These studies must be complete when you submit your formal site plan application.

Procedures and guidelines

Site Plan – Procedures and Guidelines

Prepare your site plan application

Typically, site plan applications are submitted, reviewed, and resubmitted when you obtain all necessary documents, studies, drawings and reports. The review process is repeated until the City approves the site plan.

First submission

Please use the summary of comments from the pre-consultation meeting to prepare your formal site plan application package including:

The Site Plan Review Committee will meet and discuss your application, and provide a summary of comments after the meeting.

Submit your site plan application

Your application is processed as soon as we receive all required materials. Please allow at least three weeks for members of the Site Plan Review Committee to receive, review, discuss and comment on the application.


Please use the Final Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) summary comments and the Site Plan Resubmission Guidance Document to prepare and resubmit your complete application. Your resubmission will need to include any documents, reports and/ or studies, additional permissions, approvals or agreements as outlined in the Final Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) summary comments such as:

You may also require approvals from other agencies including but not limited to:

Please contact the site plan coordinator or any of the technical experts on the committee if you require further information or clarification to prepare your site plan application.

Site plan application review

For minor site plan applications

The committee will review your site plan application and provide written comments. Please respond to these comments and re-submit plans or reports as required.

When the committee is satisfied the application meets all requirements, the City will approve the site plan.

For standard site plan applications

The site plan Review Committee will invite you to meet to discuss your application. Please submit your site plan application package at least three weeks in advance of your desired meeting date. A longer review period may be required for large or complex developments.

We will confirm your meeting date and time one week in advance, and you will receive a copy of all written comments in advance of the meeting.

If minor revisions are required:

  • Please revise and resubmit specific documents as required.
  • You may apply for conditional approval to start construction before you have full site plan approval. Separate building permits and building permit fees are required for each stage of a conditional site plan approval

If major revisions are required:

  • Please revise and resubmit the application for review, comment and discussion at a future site plan Review Committee meeting.

If approval is recommended

  • You will enter into a site plan agreement with the City
  • You will pay any required deposits and securities

Enter into a site plan agreement

When the Site Plan Review Committee recommends your application for approval, you will enter into a site plan agreement with the City. The City prepares the agreement for your review. The agreement sets out the obligations to build and maintain the site according to the drawings approved by the City.

The site plan agreement is signed by the registered property owner and/or the developer and any mortgagees. Alternatively, the mortgage may be postponed by the mortgagee/lender in favour of the site plan agreement. The postponement must be registered on title in a form approved by the City at the applicant’s expense. Agreements are registered on the title of the property to ensure they are honoured by any subsequent landowners.

Please submit the signed site plan agreement. If any changes are required, additional fees may apply.

View a sample Site Plan Control Agreement

Receive site plan approval

When we receive your signed agreement you will receive site plan approval. We will prepare two sets of final site plan drawings for you to pick up at City Hall. We will mail copies of the registered site plan agreement to all parties within two weeks of site plan approval.

You will receive an invoice for registration and title search disbursements. This charge is in addition to the site plan agreement fee.

For new subdivisions, we will ensure the property is serviced according to the Zoning Bylaw prior to issuing site plan approval.

When your site plan is approved you may apply for your building permit(s). Please ensure any subdivision block(s) are released before submitting your building permit application.

Contact Building Services
[email protected]

Inspections and securities

When construction is complete, please schedule a site inspection. Any work in public open spaces will require a separate inspection.

Site inspection
[email protected]
Public open space inspection
[email protected]

Initial inspection

The site plan inspector will review building location and elevations, parking layout, site servicing, grading and drainage, landscaping and information signs.

Inspection passed

When the site passes initial inspection, you will receive a letter noting your final inspection date. Any appropriate security deposits are refunded when the City finds the work is completed according to the approved site plan.

Minor deficiencies

If the site does not pass inspection, you will receive a letter explaining what actions to take before requesting a re-inspection. These actions may include, but are not limited to, planting landscaping, repainting parking lot lines and/or installing signs.

Major deficiencies

If the site plan inspector finds major deficiencies in the building elevations, site servicing, grading alteration and/or parking lot configurations, you will receive an inspection letter noting that you must apply to amend the approved site plan.

A pre-consultation meeting is required before applying to amend the site plan approval. Please submit plans showing the constructed development, and any other plans requested in your inspection letter to the site plan Review Committee.

The City is not obligated to approve updated plans and may require the development to be built in accordance with the approved site plan.

If the Site Plan Review Committee approves the amended site plan, please schedule a site inspection.

Final inspection

General compliance

If on-site landscaping survives for one full year, the site is deemed to be in general compliance with the approved landscape plans. Any remaining portion of the landscaping security deposit is released.

If the landscaping has not been maintained according to the approved plans for one full year, it must be replaced and re-inspected after a winter season has passed.

If landscaping is not completed within two years of issuing the occupancy permit, we will notify you of our plans to use the posted securities to pay for any outstanding landscaping costs.

The file will remain open until full compliance is granted.

Full compliance

When the site complies with the site plan, engineering, landscaping and elevation plans, it is considered to be in full compliance. You will receive a letter stating the site is in full compliance and the file will be closed.

Alternative formats are available upon request in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
City of Guelph Site Plan User Guide – June 2017 (print-friendly version)

For more information

City of Guelph Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 5616
[email protected]

Please note The City of Guelph development application process, guidelines and schedules are governed by the Ontario Planning Act.